Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 63.djvu/310
ton whose house was, according to the state papers, licensed in 1672 as a presbyterian place of worship, was possibly his wife. His son Robert was, like himself, a surveyor, and is known to have planned under his father's directions the improvement of the Thames navigation between Oxford and London (ib. i. 188–9).
Yarranton wrote: 1. ‘The Improvement improved by a second edition of the Great Improvement of Lands by Clover,’ 1663; a pamphlet of sixty-two pages of considerable importance from the point of view of the history of agriculture. 2. ‘England's Improvement by Sea and Land to outdo the Dutch without fighting,’ 1677; second part, 1681; in which he gave an account of his numerous schemes for making rivers navigable, for improving the iron industry and the linen manufacture, for the establishment of a land bank, and the establishment of a system for preventing and checking fires in London and other large towns—ideas for the most part drawn from his observations abroad, especially in Holland and Flanders. 3. ‘A full Discovery of the first Presbyterian sham Plot, or a letter from one in London to a Person of Quality in the Country,’ 1681. The publication of this pamphlet provoked considerable controversy, and Yarranton was attacked in a pamphlet entitled ‘A Coffee House Dialogue, or a Discourse between Captain Y. and a young Barrister of the Middle Temple.’ Yarranton in this tract is discovered discoursing on how to beat the Dutch without fighting by making all the streets of London navigable rivers; from this the dialogue drifts into a technical discussion of the exclusion bill, in which Yarranton is of course worsted. In two subsequent pamphlets, ‘The Coffee House Dialogue examined and refuted by some neighbours in the Country’ and ‘England's Improvements Justified, and the author thereof, Captain Y., vindicated from the scandals in a paper called a Coffee House Dialogue,’ Yarranton is defended by his friends from the ‘sulphureous fiery stink pots of calumnies and slander’ directed against him; while these charges are again reinforced in ‘A Continuation of the Coffee House Dialogue, between Captain Y. and a young Baronet [sic] of the Middle Temple, wherein the first dialogue is vindicated and in it one of the Improvers of England is proved to be a man of no deeper understanding than his master, Captain Y.’[Most of the above facts are given on the authority of Yarranton himself, whose writings are full of autobiographical details; this information is supplemented from the Domestic State Papers. These facts have been collected together into biographical form by P. E. Dove in his Elements of Political Science, 1854, and in more detail by Samuel Smiles in his Industrial Biography, 1863, pp. 60–76. See also J. Chambers's Biographical Illustrations of Worcestershire, 1820, and Yeowell's Biogr. Collections in Brit. Mus. Library.]
YARRELL, WILLIAM (1784–1856), zoologist, the ninth child of Francis Yarrell of Great Ryder Street in the parish of St. James's, Westminster, and his wife Sarah (born Blane) of Bayford, Hertfordshire, spinster, was born on 3 June 1784 in Duke Street, St. James's, where his father, in partnership with his uncle, W. Jones, carried on the business of newspaper agent and bookseller. This business was afterwards removed to the corner of Bury Street and Little Ryder Street, where it is still maintained under the style of the old firm. William was educated at Dr. Nicholson's school at Ealing, where he was regarded as a quiet studious boy, and among his schoolfellows was his cousin Edward Jones, who in after life became his partner in his father's business. But before settling down to his career William Yarrell began life as a clerk in the banking firm of Messrs. Herries, Farquhar, & Co., which he entered on 17 Nov. 1802, and left on 30 July 1803, a useful training for his father's business of newspaper agent and bookseller to which he succeeded. Having the advantage of a partner until 1850 (when on the death of his cousin the business became his own), he was able to take a certain amount of relaxation, and found pleasure in the pursuits of fishing and shooting. This afforded him opportunities for making outdoor observations in natural history, in various parts of the country, which later in life were turned to good account in the preparation of the standard works on ‘British Birds’ and ‘British Fishes’ which have since made his name famous. In the course of his outdoor pursuits he was able to secure many specimens of birds which he forwarded to Bewick, who engraved them with due acknowledgment.
Among his friends and correspondents were Sir William Jardine [q. v.], Prideaux John Selby [q. v.], Leonard Jenyns (who in 1885 printed a little memoir of him for private circulation); John Van Voorst, his publisher; Edward Turner Bennett [q. v.], secretary of the Zoological Society; Thomas Bell (1792–1880) [q. v.], president of the Linnean Society; John Gould [q. v.], the ornithologist; and Nicholas Aylward Vigors [q. v.], in whose ‘Zoological Journal,’ to which he became a frequent contributor,